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NBA: Mavericks, Suns Clinch Semifinal Berths


The semifinal field is now set for the National Basketball Association championship. The last two places go to the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns, each seventh-game winners in their Western conference finals Monday.

Germany's Dirk Nowitzki was a tower of strength for Dallas, scoring 37 points and pulling in 15 rebounds during an overtime win in San Antonio, 119-111. The Spurs, the defending NBA champions, had a three-point lead with 32 seconds left in regulation time, but Nowitzki came back with a three-point play, and the Mavs muffled San Antonio's offense in the extra period.

The Spurs' Tim Duncan had his best-ever playoff performance - 41 points and 15 rebounds.

The other seventh-game final on Monday, in Phoenix, was a relatively easy 127-107 win for the Suns over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Phoenix shot 60 percent from the field, sparked by Steve Nash's 11 assists and 29 points (including four-out-of-five from three-point range). The Clippers' Elton Brand had 36 points and nine rebounds.

The NBA semifinals begin later Tuesday in Miami, with the Heat meeting the Detroit Pistons in another best-of-seven series. After a travel day, Phoenix and Dallas will face off Wednesday in Texas.

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